Staying in on Valentine’s Day can be just as fun as going out to a fancy dinner. You don’t have to get all dressed up (or you can!) or wait in line with a ton of other couples and families all scrambling for the next table. But that doesn’t mean you can’t bring the upscale vibes home. Even if your cooking skills are still a work in progress, these recipes will look like a five-star meal, without driving you crazy in the kitchen. Really, they’re that simple. Grab a bottle of your favorite bubbly and get cookin’.
1. Filet Mignon With Chimichurri
For some reason, steak seems more intimidating to make than chicken, turkey, or even pork. That doesn’t mean you have to leave it to the pros though. This 15-minute pan-seared method is impossible to mess up, and the fresh chimichurri adds a kiiller lime-and-garlic flavor to the meat.
2. Blackened Salmon With Strawberry Salsa
This meal is the perfect shade for V-Day (TY, salmon and strawberries) but tastes so good we’ll definitely be making it year-round. The spice rub gives the salmon a little kick and a lot of flavor, while the strawberry-avo salsa combines two of the best foods, so you know it’s gotta be good.
3. Toasted Gnocchi With Sautéed Mushrooms
If you’re feeling extra fancy, go right ahead and follow the directions to make your own gnocchi. But in the name of simplicity, we won’t blame ya if you just pick up some pre-made pockets instead. Either way, the sautéed mushrooms, crispy bacon, caramelized onions, and fresh sage make this dinner a standout.
4. Seared Scallop Tarragon Risotto
You probably don’t eat scallops too often, which makes them the perfect date-night addition. Same goes for risotto… there’s something that feels special about it since it’s not exactly a weeknight staple. Serve those scallops with fresh lemon, sweet peas, and tarragon risotto.
5. Kimchi, Cucumber, and Avocado Sushi
Sushi makes a great date-night meal. It’s light so it’s pretty unlikely you’ll feel stuffed afterward (more room for dessert). And if you make it at home, it’s a fun bonding experience to try and roll ’em up correctly. This veggie roll leaves out the raw fish, but you could always add a little tuna or salmon if you want some more protein.
6. Broiled Lobster Tails
Is there anything more classic date-night than steak and lobster? Whether you want surf and turf or just surf, these lobster tails are definitely a treat but are surprisingly simple to make. Serve with lemon, green onions, and a salad or some roasted veggies.
7. Turkey Meatballs and Spaghetti Squash
If you want a Lady and the Tramp moment sans actual pasta, this spaghetti squash copycat will be right up your alley. It looks just like a traditional plate of noodles, especially since it’s served with ground turkey meatballs and a savory red sauce.